Americans of all stripes have been increasingly concerned that private businesses, if not the government, will require individuals to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 before being allowed to engage in certain activities.
Now, drummer Pete Parada has revealed that The Offspring has kicked him off of the band’s upcoming tour for refusing to receive an inoculation, the Washington Examiner reports.
“I am unable to comply”
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Parada wrote: “Since I am unable to comply with what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate — it has recently been decided that I am unsafe to be around, in the study, and on tour. I mention this because you won’t be seeing me at these upcoming shows.”
Parada, who reportedly contracted COVID-19 last year, also addressed the issue in a series of tweets.
“I also want to share my story so that anyone else experiencing the agony and isolation of getting left behind right now — knows they’re not entirely alone,” he wrote.
According to Variety, it is unclear whether Parada is officially separated from the band or if his vaccine-related departure is only temporary. His focus on other projects, however, seems to signal that he does not expect to rejoin the band any time soon.
“I’m in the midst of launching a project and releasing some music with my daughter, so please stay tuned for all of that,” he said. “I deeply appreciate your understanding and support as my family and I find a new way forward.”
“Lives have been lost”
The drummer offered some words of encouragement for others struggling during this period, noting that he sends “love to everyone who has been impacted by this pandemic, in all the ways lives have been lost and altered.”
Parada’s ouster comes as vaccine requirements are becoming increasingly common. Officials in New York City, for example, announced earlier this week that proof of vaccination will be mandatory to enter a number of public locations.
Pro athletes are also entangled in the controversy. The NFL recently determined that teams unable to play due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players could be forced to forfeit those games.
More than 9 in 10 NFL players are believed to be vaccinated, but some who refuse have already faced serious pushback. At least one coach has already resigned over the issue.
While the COVID-19 vaccines currently available began as a way to help society return to normal, more and more people are now losing opportunities because they have decided not to receive a shot.